|North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia|
|We’re traveling the Intra Coastal Waterway, the ICW, which is a man made canal, build during World War II as a protected waterway for American ships running up and down the East coast. The east coast ICW begins in Miami and heads north up to Norfolk, VA, its starting point, mile 0. The ICW is measured in statute miles, (vs. nautical miles), and the distance between Miami and Norfolk, VA is 1090 miles. When traveling on it, one refers to the mile marker, MM at which you are, i.e. MM 435, means you are 435 statute, (not nautical) miles from Norfolk, VA which is MM 0. (For those of us on the coast of Florida, and other areas like New Jersey, we too have an ICW, but it is measured differently.)|
|Tuckahoe Pt., NC|
|Cumberland Island, GA|
|More on North Carolina||ICW, NC|
|When traveling south from Norfolk, VA to Miami the mainland is on the starboard (right) side and the ocean side is on the port (left) side of the boat. It is rare you catch a glimpse of the ocean from the ICW, but when you do, it is an awesome sight.|
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|North Carolina via the ICW
The ICW through North Carolina traverses the coast for about 345 miles. It is the most diverse in terms of the variety of navigational challenges as we passed through locks, canals, land cuts and open water.
|Monica Norungolo||ICW, NC|
|Norfolk, VA to Coinjock, NC on the ICW - MM 50 -Fri Oct 24
We rose early to get underway. We passed by Hampton Roads and the Elizabeth River piers where the world’s merchant fleet loads and unloads their cargo. We passed the Norfolk Naval Station, one of the largest naval stations in the world, that is home port for aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, nuclear submarines and admirals’ barges.
|Click here for more on North Carolina||Navel ship in Norfolk|
|South Carolina via the ICW
The ICW through South Carolina travels along the coast for about 200 miles. Much of it is dredged canals and cuts, making sailing this stretch at times seem tedious. The real difference in South Carolina is the tourist attractions in places like Myrtle Beach, with numerous sandy beaches and scores of golf courses. It has its share of historical sites as well, with towns like Charleston and Beaufort being the real gems.
|North Myrtle Beach, SC on the ICW - MM 348 -Fri Oct 31 through Thu Nov 6
We left the marina at Carolina Beach about 6:15 a.m. We wanted to catch the tide in the Cape Fear River so we had it with us. The swift currents of the river make it a difficult passage unless you are with the current. We sailed through Snow’s Cut then sailed down river through the Cape Fear River.
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|Georgia– MM – 560 to MM 700
Along the over 200 miles of the ICW from GA to FL, the route departs from the canals and dredged cuts common in North & South Carolina. Instead, we wound our way across wide river mouths, through sounds and past coastal inlets. The low marshy grassland appears almost pristine in this area. We would cruise for miles without seeing any signs of human habitation. The landscape’s predominant feature is marshland, backed by woods or hummocks of trees. In some places, the marsh gives way to wooded banks, some with stately moss-covered oaks. We also pass some big sand dunes with occasional glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean. This portion of the ICW is made up of natural waterways, which are usually deep to the banks. No more staring at the depth sounder fearing the shallow water and its consequences of running aground.
|Moon River on the ICW, south of Savannah, GA – MM - 595 Sat Nov 15
We enjoyed our couple of days rest from the long somewhat tedious days of making our way south on the ICW. We crossed the border from South Carolina into Georgia. It was a long day at the end of which we anchored in the Moon River. This is the river that Andy Williams sings about. We had a nice calm evening, it made for a beautiful sunset and we had dinner and called it an early evening.
|The Moon River|
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